Language and Literacy Webinar Series 2019-2020

in collaboration with the General Teaching Council of Scotland

We are delighted to announce that this year, working with the General Teaching Council for Scotland, we will be running a series of language and literacy webinars for teachers and other professionals. This is an opportunity to learn about the most up-to-date research on children’s and adolescents’ language and literacy development and engage in online discussions with these researchers about the implications of their research for practice.

If you would like to sign up for these webinars, the GTCS will post registration information prior to each event and we’ll also provide the details here. You can sign up for the next webinar below.

Webinar series schedule

Professor Kate Nation, Tuesday 12th November, 4-5pm

Title: Learning to Read and Learning to Comprehend: Lessons from the Simple View of Reading

Summary: The Simple View of Reading states that the complexity of reading comprehension is captured by the product of two sets of skills: decoding and linguistic comprehension. This webinar will use the Simple View framework to discuss reading comprehension and its development.

Professor Kate Nation is Professor of Experimental Psychology and a Fellow of St John’s College. She directs the ReadOxford research group, a group focused on understanding children’s reading acquisition and development. You can learn more about the work of this group here:

Kate is also author of the recent paper: ‘Ending the Reading Wars: Reading Acquisition From Novice to Expert’. This paper is available to download here:


Dr Jessie Ricketts, Thursday 28th November, 4-5pm

Title: Vocabulary and Reading Development: From Primary to Secondary School

Summary: As pupils move through the education system, reading become increasingly important for accessing the curriculum and developing vocabulary knowledge. This talk will present new data showing that reading continues to develop throughout childhood and adolescence, with important consequences for educational progress and vocabulary knowledge.

Dr Jessie Ricketts is Reader in Psychology at Royal Holloway University of London. She directs the Language and Reading Acquisition (LARA) lab which focuses on oral language and literacy development in childhood and adolescence. You can read more about the work of this group here:


Professor Margaret Snowling, Thursday 30th January, 4-5pm

Title: Are reading and language disorders the same or different?

Summary: The webinar begins by outlining findings of longitudinal studies showing that language is a foundation of literacy and proceeds to examine the reading outcomes of children recruited in preschool either with a family risk of dyslexia or a preschool language impairment.


Professor Maggie Snowling, CBE, FBA, FMedSci, is Professor of Psychology and President of St John’s College at the University of Oxford. She was appointed CBE for services to science and the understanding of dyslexia in 2016. Her research focuses on children’s language and learning, specifically the nature and causes of children’s reading difficulties and how best to ameliorate them. You can read more about her work at the Centre for Reading and Language here:


Professor Vincent Connelly, New date to be confirmed

Title: How poor spelling can lead to poor writing

Summary: A discussion of recent research on how those with spelling problems (such as children with dyslexia) can often find their word difficulty impacting on their ability to generate content for writing and lead to a generally slower, more hesitant, writing style associated with poorer compositional quality.


Professor Vincent Connelly is Professor of Psychology at Oxford Brookes University. His research interests revolve around the development of writing, spelling and reading. He is currently investigating why some children struggle to write especially those who have been identified with dyslexia. You can read more about his work here: